SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
Filing a Social Security Disability Application - How to File & the Information that is Needed by SSA
Do you need a Lawyer at the Administrative Law Judge Disability Hearing?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of benefits
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much is paid for the Social Security Disability Attorney Fee?
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
How To Get Disability Through SSDI or SSI Approved
Should you get Help from a Disability Attorney before the Claim has been Denied?
Answers to questions about SSD and SSI disability
Qualifying for Disability - What is Social Security Looking for?
How do I check the status of my Social Security disability claim?
What Expenses Will A Social Security Attorney Charge In Addition To The Fee?
Facts about Alcoholism and Filing for Disability
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
1) Alcoholism is when the body is physically dependent upon alcohol. It has been described as a condition, an uncontrollable craving, an addiction, and a chronic disease. In essence, it is a dependency upon alcohol to function, and regardless of the negative effects it may have on one’s life (losing a home, marriage or job, or becoming severely ill or depressed), the person affected cannot stop drinking. If they try to stop they experience withdrawal symptoms.
2) One must drink alcohol to develop alcoholism, though the amount and frequency vary with each person. It is thought that nearly 90 percent of all American adults consume alcohol, and nearly 700,000 of them seek help for alcoholism through treatment.
3) Alcoholism can cause immense effects in one’s life; it affects the sufferers mental health, physical health and causes social problems. Physically it can cause liver disease, heart disease, epilepsy, sexual dysfunction and even death. Mentally it can cause a host of depression and anxiety disorders, as well as psychosis.
4) Alcoholism is the second leading cause of dementia in Western countries.
5) Although it is quite rare for people to die from cocaine or heroin withdrawal unless they already have preexisting severe health concerns, it is not uncommon for people, even healthy people, to die from alcohol withdrawal. Withdrawal can cause seizures, damage to nerve cells, trembling, shaking and death.
6) Detoxification and therapy, along with some medications, can help treat those with alcoholism. Some programs use abstinence for alcoholics, while others use management techniques such as moderation and rationing. However, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has reported: "Abstinence represents the most stable form of remission for most recovering alcoholics”.
7) Studies have shown that nearly 8 percent of men are alcoholics, while that number is less than 3 percent for women. Although many think that women feel the effects of alcohol quicker than men due to them being smaller physically, it is actually due to women having less body water than men, and producing different hormones in their bodies than men do.
Can you qualify for disability benefits with this condition?
Whether or not you qualify for disability and, as a result, are approved for disability benefits will depend entirely on the information obtained from your medical records. This includes whatever statements may have been obtained from your treating physician (a doctor who has a history of treating your condition and is, therefore, qualified to comment as to your condition and prognosis).
It will also depend on the information obtained from your vocational, or work, history if you are an adult, or academic records if you are a minor-age child. The important thing to keep in mind is that the social security administration does not award benefits based on simply having a condition, but, instead, will base an approval or denial on the extent to which a condition causes functional limitations. Functional limitations can be great enough to make work activity not possible (or, for a child, make it impossible to engage in age-appropriate activities).
Why are so many disability cases lost at the disability application and reconsideration appeal levels?
Speaking as a former Disability Claims Examiner, I can state that there are several reasons:
1) Social Security makes no attempt to obtain a statement from a claimant's treating physician. By contrast, at the hearing level, a claimant and his or her disability attorney will generally obtain and present this type of statement to a judge;
2) Prior to the hearing level, a claimant will not have the opportunity to explain how their condition limits them, nor will their attorney or representative have the opportunity to make a presentation based on the evidence of the case. At the hearing level, of course, this is exactly what happens. And a number of disability representatives will also take such steps even earlier, at the reconsideration appeal level;
3) Disability judges, unlike disability examiners who decides cases at the first two levels of the system, can make independent decisions without being overturned by immediate supervisors--which happens frequently.
Return to: SSDRC, or the Social Security Disability Questions page